IMAP mail filters tool

python at python at
Mon Mar 8 04:09:44 CET 2010


Check out Zed Shaw's very cool Lamson project.


----- Original message -----
From: "Ken Seehart" <ken at>
To: python-list at
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 2010 21:33:26 -0800
Subject: IMAP mail filters tool
I'm thinking of possibly making a simple client-agnostic tool for
filtering and processing IMAP email.  I'm a Thunderbird user, but
I'm interested in a tool that is not client software specific.
So I am is checking for prior art.  Does anyone know of a filter
tool with most of these features?
  * Written and customizable with python
  * IMAP based
  * Runs on client (i.e. without installing anything on the
  * Runs completely independent of client software (though could
    be launched from any email client that can support it)
  * Automatically suggests new rules based on manual movement of
    emails into folders (based on comparison of all header data
    across all existing folders)
  * Take arbitrary actions in response to rules (e.g. universally
    denying access to spam senders to all online cheese shops)
  * Capable of serving as a prototyping framework for things like
    spam filtering
  * General filtering functionality, not particularly focused on
  * Posts and updates rules to server via IMAP (i.e. by sending
    and automagically processing a special email message).

Typical work-flow would be aimed at users who like to
automatically sort their email prior to reading it.  The goal is
to have nearly all email sorted into folders so that most mail
remaining in the Inbox is likely to be leftover spam missed by
whatever spam filters are being used.  In other words, the
filters tend to effectively serve as white lists.
Examples of unusual rules that don't seem to be supported by most
email clients:
  * When you send an email, add the recipient to a filter such
    that email from that recipient goes to a "Unfiltered Replies"
    folder if it does not match any other filter.
  * Receiving email with certain fields matching certain regular
    expressions could automatically create a new folder and
    filter e.g.:
       + List-Id: "SF Bay Area Python group
         <>" yields a new folder "Lists/SF
         Bay Area Python group" with a corresponding rule
       + X-Launchpad-Bug: "product=phatch; milestone=..." yields
         a new folder "Bugs/Phatch" with a corresponding rule
       + X-Bugzilla-Product: "Shrubbery" yields a new folder
         "Bugs/Shrubbery" with a corresponding rule

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